Polish retail sales fell by 5.0% in February, a larger drop than expected, indicating the challenges facing consumers at present. The decline was the steepest since November 2020 and followed on from a drop of 0.3% in January. Sales of food declined for the second month in a row, while sales of cars, cosmetics, and clothing increased.
Inflation accelerated to 18.4% year on year in February, up from 16.6% in January, with analysts suggesting that this continues to impact consumer spending; as ING analysts put it recently, "High inflation is taking its toll, and consumers are cutting back on spending. [...] In the first quarter, we will see another decline in consumption on an annualised basis, which will contribute to a decline in GDP."
Last summer, Renata Juszkiewicz, president of retail representative group POHiD, issued a warning that the inflationary period was having a "significant" effect on consumer shopping habits. "The situation in the retail trade does not look as optimistic as it is trying to be presented," she noted. "In the long run, trade will not be able to oppose soaring wholesale prices, it can only suppress them."
Both Polish retailers and consumers alike will be hoping for some alleviation of the current pressures as the year progresses.
Here's an overview of the top ten supermarket retail chains in Poland, according to their most recently-available full-year turnover. All data is supplied by Retail-Index (www.retail-index.com).
1. Jerónimo Martins
Turnover: €14.94 billion (2021)
Jerónimo Martins is a Portuguese retail company and the owner of Biedronka, the largest supermarket chain in Poland. Biedronka boasts some 3,250 outlets across the country, while the company also owns Hebe, a popular beauty and drugstore chain with 291 outlets. Jerónimo Martins, which first entered the market in 1995, reported turnover of €14.94 billion in Poland in 2021.
2. Lidl & Kaufland
Turnover: €7.05 billion (2021)
Lidl and Kaufland are both German retail chains owned by the Schwarz Group, and generated €7.05 billion in turnover in Poland in 2021. Some 750 outlets operate under the Lidl banner in Poland, along with 237 Kaufland stores, bringing the group's total to 987.
Turnover: €3.9 billion (2020)
Eurocash boasts over 16,000 outlets in Poland under a myriad of banners including abc, Arhelan, Delikatesy Centrum, Euro Sklep, Eurocash, Frisco.pl, Groszek, Lewiatan, and Mila. In 2020, Eurocash generated €3.9 billion in turnover. The group opened its first stores in 1993.
Turnover: €3.05 billion (2021)
Żabka is a Polish convenience store chain with over 8,000 outlets, including Żabka, Żabka Nano, and Żappka stores. Żabka, which has been a key driver of autonomous store technology in the region, generated €3.05 billion in turnover in 2021.
5. Grupa Specjal
Turnover: €2.95 billion (2020)
Reporting a turnover of €2.95 billion in 2020, Grupa Specjal has some 9,880 outlets across Poland, under the banners Livio, Nasz Sklep, Premium Nasz Sklep, and Rabat Detal, its liquor store format.
Turnover: €2.82 billion (2021)
Generating €2.82 billion in turnover in 2021, Dino is a rapidly-growing supermarket chain that boasts some 1,815 outlets across Poland, up from 1,473 outlets the previous year. The group was founded in 1999.
Turnover: €2.47 billion (2020)
Auchan is a French retail chain with operations in several countries, including Poland, where it has 126 outlets. The group operates stores under the Auchan Hypermarkets, Auchan Supermarkets, Easy Auchan, Moje Auchan, and Simply banners, and generated €2.47 billion in turnover in 2020.
8. Polska Grupa Supermarketów
Turnover: €1.87 billion (2021)
Polska Grupa Supermarketów operates a network of independent stores under three main banners - Delica, Minuta8, and Top Market. Polska Grupa Supermarketów generated €1.87 billion in turnover in 2021, and operates some 634 stores as of last year. The group was founded in 2002.
Turnover: €1.83 billion (2021)
French retail giant Carrefour operates approximately 900 stores in Poland, under banners including Carrefour Express, Globi, Carrefour Hypermarket, Carrefour Supermarket, and its recently-launched Supeco discount brand. Carrefour Poland generated €1.83 billion in turnover in 2021. It has had a presence in the country since 1997.
10. Makro C&C (Metro)
Turnover: €1.19 billion (2021)
Wholesaler Makro C&C, owned by the Metro Group, operates two main banners, Makro and Odido. Makro operates 29 cash-and-carry outlets in Poland and generated €1.19 billion in turnover in 2021. Elsewhere, its network of franchised Odido stores encompasses some 2,500 outlets.
Ranking just outside the top ten are a number of major operators, including Emperia (Maxima), which has a turnover of €974 million (as of 2020) and operates two supermarket brands, Barbora and Stokrotka, across 807 stores. Netto has a turnover of €795 million (2020) and operates 647 stores. Selgros has a turnover of €778 million (2020) and operates 19 cash-and-carry stores. Chorten has an estimated turnover of €750 million (2020) and operates 2,325 stores. E.Leclerc has a turnover of €695 million (2020) and operates 44 hypermarkets. Polomarket has a turnover of €447 million (2021) and operates 280 stores. Aldi has a turnover of €411 million (2020) and operates 200 stores. Finally, Intermarché, operated by Grupa Muszkieterów, has a turnover of €405 million (2020) and operates 200 stores.
Retail-Index is a specialist supplier of management information on consumer retail markets, provided by Veraart Research Group in the Netherlands. Its mission is to supply managers with up-to-date key information on retail markets in Europe and support them in their international expansion.
The company dates back to 1964, when it started as a market research and marketing consulting company for consumer products and services. In 1989, it started publishing written reports on various retail sectors in Europe. As of 2005, it publishes its information on retailers through the online database and curated datasheet exports available on www.retail-index.com. A team of researchers manages the data to reflect upon current developments in the markets, collected from an extensive number of sources.
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© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Robert McHugh. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.